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Criminal Justice School Info

Private Investigator Salary

Private investigators are paid hourly when on contract work or a salary when they work for a firm. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 21% of private detectives are self employed and perform a variety of contract work for both private parties and commercial interests. The median annual Private Detective Salary is between $30,870 to $59,060 with the higher range of earners making $76,640 or more.

It should be noted that private detectives and investigators' salary may vary greatly depending on the employer, specialization, and geographic area of the work. Job prospects are expected to be best for entry level private investigator positions in detective agencies where you may start by assisting companies confirming information or insurance firms to investigate questionable claims, for example. Self employed private detectives charge an hourly rate determined by their qualifications, the type of job, and competition.

Private Investigator Salary at a Glance:


Private Investigator Salary Annual Average Salary
Entry Level $30,870 - 41,760
Mid Career Level $41,760 - 59,060
Senior - Seasoned Level $76,640 +

Private Investigation Salary Compared to Related Professions:


Position Annual Average Salary
Private Investigator $41,760 - 76,640
Police Officer $38,850 - 64,940
Police Detective $59,320 - 92,700



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Women In Law Enforcement

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    According to The National Center for Women and Policing (NCWP), the first women police officer was hired by the Portland, Oregon Police Department in 1905.

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